Located in Cincinnati, OH the Contemporary Arts Center aims to bring contemporary art culture to all people. Visitors will find a large array of exhibitions and experiences meant to educate and engage them in the contemporary artistic ideas of today.

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In the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, jobs for artists were scarce. Peggy Frank, Rita Rentschler, and Betty Ruah understood all too well about the lack of career options and began to grow more and more frustrated.

Upon the advice of Edward Warburg, founder of the American Ballet, the three starving artists decided to start the Modern Art Society in 1939. In one year alone, using only a desk in their living room and a portable typewriter, the trio managed to raise $5,000. Slowly they began to acquire some unbelievable works, including pieces by Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso, Klee, and Beckman.

The Modern Art Society changed its name in 1964 to the Contemporary Arts Center as they established an exhibition space in downtown Cincinnati. The space was a hit! Visitors from far and wide began flooding to the center and in 2003, the center outgrew its home and moved to the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center.

Currently, the center receives thousands of visitors a year and has established itself as one of the top modern and contemporary art centers in the country.


Erwin Redl: This exhibition is features in the museum’s lobby and is meant to bridge the gap between the outside world and inside the museum. The 107-foot wall contains 160 pendula arranged in a variety of fascinating patterns is meant to investigate emergence. This exhibition is on display through March 2018.

Solar Bell Ensemble: This innovative work is by Tomas Saraceno and evokes a feeling of cities floating in the air. Large reflective pyramid-shaped structures are suspended from the ceiling in the museum’s lobby. The artist wants to start a conversation about renewable energy through his model of a floating utopia. This exhibition is on display through December 2017.

Upcoming Exhibitions:

Swoon: This exhibition features street-art and landmark projects by artistic pioneer, Caledonia Curry. This exhibit will be on display from September 2017 to February 2018.

Glenn Kaino: This exhibition features a unique blend of sculpture, video, spectacle, and performance to convey restlessness and the blurred lines between reality and fallacy. This exhibit will be on display from November 2017 to April 2018.

Mark deJong: “Swing House” features a three-story high structure where the floors, walls, and décor have been removed. The swing will then be able to move throughout the entire house from front to back, opening the viewers eyes to view simple housing renovation into a transformative piece of art. This exhibit will be on display from April to May 2018.

Chris Larson: The focus of this artist is to turn simple buildings and structures into artwork. He focuses on surreal and extraordinary carpentry as he creates iconic sculptures, instruments, landmarks, and vehicles out of various materials. This exhibit will be on display from April to May 2018.

Alison Crocetta: This exhibition aims to cover the entire evolution of works by Alison Crocetta through a variety of mediums. This exhibit will be on display from May to August 2018.

Firelei Baez: This exhibit aims to explore the idea of race through a variety of colorful works by African-American artist, Firelei Baez. The works feature portraits of people with skin tones from every color imaginable. This exhibit will be on display from May to August 2018.

Kader Attia: This exhibition aims to bring back the idea of repairing things instead of tossing them aside, both physically and symbolically. This exhibit will be on display from June to September 2018.

Additional Information:

Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. 6th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202, Phone: 513-345-8400

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